Drupal blog posts https://iefworld.org/index.php/ en Challenging Economic Assumptions Driving Climate Change https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1240 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Challenging Economic Assumptions Driving Climate Change</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">20. March 2022 - 22:51</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp; <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Challenging Economic Assumptions Driving Climate Change</h2> <p>by Arthur Lyon Dahl<br /> 20 March 2022<br /> Reprinted from Global Governance Forum</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>People and institutions act within a framework of assumptions about the world, how it works, and what is right and wrong. Such assumptions, absorbed unconsciously throughout life, are constantly reinforced and generally unquestioned. Where these in fact do not conform to reality and become obstacles to change, it is necessary as a first step to question such assumptions. This is the challenge faced by the economy and business today.</p> <p>Modern neoliberal economic thinking is founded on the assumption that people are fundamentally selfish and aggressive, so we accept as normal that markets and politics are powered by ego, greed, apathy and violence, and that our society values wealth, power and fame. This reflects the animal nature of man. Animals have no free will, but are constrained within their ecosystems. When humans give free rein to their animal nature, they have no natural limits and become worse than animals, as demonstrated by our violence, wars, and multiple forms of inhumanity and exploitation.</p> <p>The economy measures success as wealth, whether personal wealth or national wealth measured as GDP. At the corporate level it is profit, return on capital and stock market valuation that generate this wealth. While we condemn individual behaviour that is so greedy, selfish and aggressive that it injures others, we do not see as easily how these values are incorporated in our institutions, particularly modern corporations. Many of the dominant corporations today are greed institutionalized, ready to do anything to maximise profits, with the ends justifying any means. And as institutions, they have little conscience, moral framework or sense of humanity to restrain them. They are behind climate change, biodiversity loss, massive pollution, human exploitation, extremes of poverty and wealth, the arms race, and most of the other ills we have failed to control.</p> <p>Normally it is government that should ensure the common good of all, but corporate lobbies and corruption now control most governments, and there is no global governance for non-state entities like corporations. All the efforts at multilateral cooperation among states to address human rights and environmental sustainability fail in implementation because they have no influence over those with the real power today in the economic system.</p> <p>Selfishness is behind the consumer society, where businesses cultivate endless wants and even addictions in the search for profits, regardless of the human and environmental costs. Think of the alcohol and tobacco industries, the arms industry, junk food and many other sectors that take no responsibility for the impact of their production. One recent example is COVID-19 vaccine development captured as corporate intellectual property to be sold to the wealthy for extravagant profit while depriving the poor of protection and extending the pandemic.</p> <p>This is not a new problem. Black racism has its roots in the transatlantic slave trade beginning over 400 years ago. Colonisation was driven by the entrepreneurial search for wealth by conquest, but exploiting the rich soils of the new world required cheap labour, and Africa was the nearest source. Governments supported these new entrepreneurs by passing laws defining blacks as property rather than human beings to facilitate their exploitation, legalising and justifying slavery, and laying the foundation for modern racism. Today exploitation takes other forms, but the consequences are equally immoral.</p> <p>To address this problem, we must question the basic economic assumptions about human nature. Drawing on all faith traditions and many other philosophical sources, we can identify universal values by which to judge such basic assumptions. There is wide consensus across many faith traditions that human reality includes a non-material or spiritual dimension, at least in potential. We can and should rise above our animal reality. This requires education, and especially education to higher values like honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and generosity. We also have a capacity for social values such as moderation, justice, love, reason, sacrifice and service to the common good. These are the values upon which civilisations have been built, and they are now needed today more than ever. They can provide a framework of values for our rapidly evolving world society, physically united but still far from accepting the oneness of humankind. This rejection of our unity in diversity is at the root of today’s crises.</p> <p>The opposite of selfishness is acceptance of the oneness of humanity, that every human being is a trust of the whole, and that suffering anywhere in the world causes all of us to suffer. True happiness comes from living a virtuous life, refining one’s character and contributing to the advancement of civilisation through one’s profession and acts of service. Business competition can be replaced by cooperation and reciprocity, with innovation motivated by service to the common good, and by wide consultation on the best use of discoveries for the advancement of society as a whole. A market can work best with an honest consultation between buyers and sellers about a just price between cost and need. The economic system can still generate wealth, but with the aim of making everyone wealthy.</p> <p>Where wealth is the measure of economic success, power is its political equivalent. Political leaders driven by a desire for power and fame are similarly selfish and aggressive. Clearly the concept of power as a means of domination, with the accompanying notions of contest, contention, division and superiority, are behind the failure of governments today to serve the common good. We need systems of governance that empower everyone to contribute, consulting on needs and searching for solutions that provide for the wellbeing of all and the sustainability of the environment upon which we all depend, free from the battles of ego that define politics today.</p> <p>We must transform those economic and financial institutions that are the embodiment of greed and selfishness which are inherent in their legal charters and stock markets that give absolute priority to profit and return on investment. Economic entities such as corporations need revised legal charters that define a social purpose to do good and avoid harm, with profit only one measure of efficiency among others. Governments also need to provide a framework of law and regulation that defines the common interest to be respected, including at the global level.</p> <p>New non-financial measures and systems of accounting are needed to define progress and motivate positive action. They could guide us to restore climate stability and productive ecosystems and prevent pollution. They could define a society able to meet the basic material needs of all with proper nutrition and good health, to provide meaningful work and access to education, to encourage knowledge, science, art and culture, all by fostering the values and spiritual capital that would be the measures of an ever-advancing civilisation.</p> <p>Redrafting corporate charters should not be so difficult if there is the political and social will. Admittedly there are sectors of the economy with no social purpose that would disappear. Changing the ground rules by which businesses operate from selfishness to service would transform corporations from the root of the problem to part of the solution. The lobbies and vested interests that block transformation today would vanish, and make possible the acceleration in positive action that is needed to save us before it is too late.</p> <hr /> <p>Source: <a href="https://globalgovernanceforum.org/challenging-economic-assumptions/">https://globalgovernanceforum.org/challenging-economic-assumptions/</a></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 20 March 2022</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sun, 20 Mar 2022 20:51:58 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1240 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1240#comments Bahá’í-inspired perspective on global justice https://iefworld.org/index.php/ddahl_jubilee <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Bahá’í-inspired perspective on global justice</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">20. February 2022 - 12:59</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Bahá’í-inspired perspective on global justice</h2> <p>Jubilee for Climate UK – Faith Leaders Roundtable<br /> 15 February 2022<br /> presentation by Arthur Lyon Dahl<br /> Roundtable video available at <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHWVqJluI9w">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHWVqJluI9w</a></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>On 15 February I was invited by Jubilee for Climate UK and other partners to present a Bahá'í perspective on issues of global justice, on a roundtable along with a number of other people of faith. The following is the essence of my presentation. Following the roundtable, they decided to draw attention to persistent poverty by organising a public distribution of food for the poor at the end of each month, and at the end of the year, in the faith tradition of jubilee, to call for the abolition of all debt.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Introduction</h3> <p>For those deeply concerned about issues of social justice and the weight of the debt burden on the poor and developing countries, now being aggravated by the climate crisis, while extreme wealth concentrates at the top, it is useful to ask what role religion might play today. The role of faith has always been to warn us about giving free reign to our animal nature when we really have a spiritual purpose and potential that can make us truly human. All the divine educators have brought this truth, while adapting their message to the needs of their time in a progressive series of revelations. In this sense we can understand the unity of all religions, including the beliefs and world-views of indigenous peoples. The divine educators taught both by their example and by their teachings which have become the sacred scriptures. Since faith has both rational and emotional components, it is able to motivate both individual and social transformation.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Presentation of the Bahá’í Faith</h3> <p>For those who may not know it, the central figure or divine educator of the Bahá’í Faith is Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), originally from Persia, who after many years of exile was imprisoned in the Holy Land from 1868 until his passing in 1892, which is why the Bahá’í World Centre is in Haifa, Israel. He renewed God’s message of unity and justice with principles and institutions for a united world. He explained how all religions are part of one progressive process of revelation, and the fundamental harmony of science and religion. His son Abdu’l-Bahá was only released from prison in 1908. He then traveled to Europe and America in 1911-1913, where He often addressed issues of justice and the economy. Today the Bahá’í Faith has an international elected governing body, the Universal House of Justice. The quotes below come from these three sources of guidance.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Justice</h3> <p>The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice.... By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words (Arabic))</span></small></p> <p>And among the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are justice and right. Until these are realized on the plane of existence, all things shall be in disorder and remain imperfect. The world of mankind is a world of oppression and cruelty, and a realm of aggression and error.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, 227, p. 304)</span></small></p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Critique of the economic system</h3> <p>The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men.... The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities...<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, CLXIV, p. 342-343)</span></small></p> <p>Having penetrated and captured all significant centres of power and information at the global level, dogmatic materialism ensured that no competing voices would retain the ability to challenge projects of world wide economic exploitation.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, One Common Faith, 2005, p. 5)</span></small></p> <p>All too many of these [man-made] ideologies...callously abandon starving millions to the operations of a market system that all too clearly is aggravating the plight of the majority of mankind, while enabling small sections to live in a condition of affluence scarcely dreamed of by our forebears.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World Peace, 1985, I, p. 6-7)</span></small></p> <p>The time has come when those who preach the dogmas of materialism, whether of the east or of the west, whether of capitalism or socialism, must give account of the moral stewardship they have presumed to exercise…. Why is the vast majority of the world's peoples sinking ever deeper into hunger and wretchedness... ?<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World Peace, 1985, I, p. 7)</span></small></p> <p>...certain approaches to obtaining wealth--so many of which involve the exploitation of others, the monopolization and manipulation of markets, and the production of goods that promote violence and immorality--are unworthy and unacceptable.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, To Baha'is in the Cradle of the Faith, 2 April 2010)</span></small></p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">The need for a spiritual approach founded in ethics and values</h3> <p>To alleviate a variety of problems born of the economic inequalities so prevalent in the world today, social and economic development will require, especially among the younger generations, a fundamental shift in perspective, one that changes the way in which certain essential concepts are viewed--the true purpose of life, the nature of progress, the meaning of true happiness and well-being, and the place that material pursuits should assume in one's individual and family life.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, To Baha'is in the Cradle of the Faith, 2 April 2010)</span></small></p> <p>Social justice will be attained only when every member of society enjoys a relative degree of material prosperity and gives due regard to the acquisition of spiritual qualities. The solution, then, to prevailing economic difficulties is to be sought as much in the application of spiritual principles as in the implementation of scientific methods and approaches.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, To Baha'is in the Cradle of the Faith, 2 April 2010)</span></small></p> <p>The failure to place economics into the broader context of humanity's social and spiritual existence has led to a corrosive materialism in the world's more economically advantaged regions, and persistent conditions of deprivation among the masses of the world's peoples. Society must develop new economic models…. Resources must be directed... to furthering a dynamic, just and thriving social order. Such economic systems will be strongly altruistic and cooperative in nature; they will provide meaningful employment and will help to eradicate poverty in the world.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Bahá'í International Community, Valuing Spirituality in Development: Initial Considerations Regarding the Creation of Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. A concept paper written for the World Faiths and Development Dialogue, Lambeth Palace, London, 18-19 February 1998)</span></small></p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Summary of some Baha’i principles relevant to the economy</h3> <p>• Be content with little, altruism, voluntary sharing<br /> • Elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty<br /> • Graduated income tax (up to 50%) and tax on accumulated wealth<br /> • Guaranteed minimum income, eliminating poverty<br /> • Work is worship, obligation to work, to be of benefit to society, service<br /> • Profit sharing in corporations (20% of shares to employees)<br /> • No more trusts (corporations in a monopoly position)<br /> • Sustainability, respect for nature and biodiversity, not destroying the natural order<br /> • Peace, abolition of war through collective security<br /> • New approach to governance, elected consultative bodies<br /> • Avoidance of partisan politics, work for unity<br /> • World federation to manage global resources and distribute them equitably</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Serving as an example, individual and community</h3> <p>The economic life of humanity has recently embroiled so many people. Injustice is tolerated with indifference and disproportionate gain is regarded as the emblem of success. So deeply entrenched are such pernicious attitudes that it is hard to imagine how any one individual can alone alter the prevailing standards by which the relationships in this domain are governed. Nevertheless, there are certainly practices anyone could eschew, such as dishonesty in one's transactions or the economic exploitation of others. There should be no contradiction between one's economic conduct and one's beliefs. By applying in one's life principles of fairness and equity, each person can uphold a standard far above the low threshold by which the world measures itself. Humanity is weary for want of a pattern of life to which to aspire; we should aim for actions in our communities which will give hope to the world.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, Message to the Baha'i World, Ridvan 2012)</span></small></p> <p>A host of negative forces, generated by the materialism and corruption so widespread in the world, present a challenge in upholding standards of conduct with respect to financial affairs. The members of the younger generation would do well to ponder the difference between gaining wealth through earnest effort in fields such as agriculture, commerce, the arts, and industry, on the one hand, and, on the other, obtaining it without exertion or through dishonourable means. Let them consider the consequences of each for the spiritual development of the individual, as well as the progress of society, and ask themselves what possibilities exist for generating income and acquiring wealth that will ensure true happiness through the development of spiritual qualities, such as honesty, trustworthiness, generosity, justice, and consideration for others, and the recognition that material means are to be expended for the betterment of the world.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, To Baha'is in the Cradle of the Faith, 2 April 2010)</span></small></p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Need for a vision and shared ethic</h3> <p>There is an inherent moral dimension to the generation, distribution, and utilization of wealth and resources. The stresses emerging out of the long-term process of transition from a divided world to a united one are being felt within international relations as much as in the deepening fractures that affect societies large and small. With prevailing modes of thought found to be badly wanting, the world is in desperate need of a shared ethic, a sure framework for addressing the crises that gather like storm clouds.<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, To the Baha’is of the World, 1 March 2017)</span></small></p> <p>The vision of Baha'u'llah challenges many of the assumptions that are allowed to shape contemporary discourse—for instance, that self-interest, far from needing to be restrained, drives prosperity, and that progress depends upon its expression through relentless competition. To view the worth of an individual chiefly in terms of how much one can accumulate and how many goods one can consume relative to others is wholly alien to Baha'i thought…. Wealth must serve humanity. Its use must accord with spiritual principles; systems must be created in their light. And, in Baha'u'llah's memorable words, "No light can compare with the light of justice. The establishment of order in the world and the tranquillity of the nations depend upon it."<br /> <small><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">(Universal House of Justice, To the Baha’is of the World, 1 March 2017)</span></small></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 20 February 2022</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sun, 20 Feb 2022 10:59:11 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1227 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/ddahl_jubilee#comments Filling a Critical Gap in Global Environmental Governance https://iefworld.org/index.php/ddahl_pollution <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Filling a Critical Gap in Global Environmental Governance</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">20. February 2022 - 11:46</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Filling a Critical Gap in<br /> Global Environmental Governance</h2> <p>Arthur Lyon Dahl<br /> 17 February 2022</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>There are an increasing number of scientific alerts about threats to the global commons and of planetary boundaries being exceeded. Climate change is an obvious example, and chemical pollution including plastics is a recent concern. Despite the efforts of the UN system of institutions and many multilateral environmental agreements, the problems are accelerating and interacting in dangerous ways requiring urgent action. They can be distinguished by the fact that they extend beyond the national jurisdictions of sovereign states and often can be traced to non-state actors including multinational corporations, for which there are no existing governance institutions at the scale of the problem. Some may in part be the responsibility of international conventions or organizations, but these lack the capacity to pass binding legislation or to enforce agreements among states. What they have in common is the release into the environment of substances, including pollutants and wastes, directly or indirectly as a result of human activities. This suggests a possible innovative step forward in global environmental governance through giving UNEP the institutional capacity to define when such releases involve significant global risks and to adopt global legislation targetting those risks and the parties responsible for them, whether state or non-state actors.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Definition of the problem</h3> <p>With the rapid expansion of human activities of many kinds to the planetary scale, we are flooding the environment with many thousands of chemicals, molecules, substances, materials and objects in quantities or at a scale where they are causing, or threaten to cause, significant impacts to human health, environmental quality, ecosystem functions or future development possibilities. These include greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting substances, poisons, pesticides, agricultural chemicals, antibiotics, endocrine disruptors, carcinogenic substances, long-lived radioactive isotopes, space junk, materials for geoengineering, plastics and many thousands of other chemicals, newly invented or manufactured on a large scale beyond natural processes. Recent research shows that everyone is increasingly exposed to complex mixtures of these chemicals with health effects only beginning to be understood, and ecosystems everywhere are being increasingly disrupted with species disappearing. There will be many surprises in store.</p> <p>National boundaries have no relevance to the movement of such substances, and there are so many that existing processes to negotiate and adopt multilateral agreements among states could never cover all of the risks, and do not adequately implicate non-state actors.</p> <p>There is thus an urgent need to take a carefully circumscribed but significant step forward in international environmental governance by creating the capacity to define, manage and where necessary prohibit through global legislation the release into the environment of substances and materials presenting planetary risks. This can be built in large part on what already exists. By focusing specifically on substances and the processes of their creation and release, this sidesteps issues of national sovereignty. Indeed, it should protect national autonomy in responding to requirements designated as necessary for the common good of all. The other significant innovation is to extend the scope of this legislation to non-state actors, especially multinational corporations, that are often directly at the origin of the substances and materials concerned and that largely escape from national regulation.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Elements of the solution</h3> <p>This new step forward in global governance would require components briefly summarized as: scientific assessment, legislation and enforcement.</p> <p><i>Scientific assessment</i>: The first step is to identify the release of something presenting a global risk because of the nature or scale of the activity or process and its impacts, both at present and dynamically looking ahead to future threats. This would require defining the planetary boundary or limit beyond which damage would be consequent or irreversible, with costs outweighing benefits. In the present economic system, the benefits are immediate to the producers, while the costs are externalities left to be borne by the public, the environment and future generations. Scientific research has already done much in this direction, but it is not always directly linked to policy processes. The global institution should be able to call on all existing scientific assessment processes where relevant, such as the IPCC, or to create new ones for substances not presently covered. It would need the authority to obtain access to the necessary confidential information even when classified as commercial secrets or intellectual property.</p> <p><i>Legislation</i>: Where the science identifies a substance, group of chemicals, or other releases into the environment that go beyond a defined level of threat or risk to human and environmental well-being, a legislative body then needs to negotiate and adopt a legal text with global authority defining the specific substances to be regulated to stay within an acceptable level of impact, the global limit or planetary boundary for the occurrence or concentration of the substance, and the principles or criteria for the equitable assignment of responsibilities to stay within the defined limit. This could include common but differentiated responsibilities relevant to national circumstances and historical contributions, and should cover non-state entities like public or private corporations, and even individuals in certain circumstances. The legislation could include definitions of liability and compensation for damage caused by the substance incriminated.</p> <p><i>Enforcement</i>: It will be important to avoid the creation of a giant bureaucracy, but to orchestrate a coherent global process of respect and control under the adopted legislation. The aim should be polynodal enforcement through existing institutions as far as possible, both within the UN system and international conventions, and through national and sub-national governments, with the collaboration of civil society. In some cases, new institutions might be necessary with specific technical capacities for monitoring and surveillance. There will need to be judicial and dispute settlement capacities, again where possible by expanding the authority of existing institutions. Some substances will need to be phased out, prohibited, or restricted to defined uses, with provisions for fines, global taxes and other disincentives.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Implementation</h3> <p>The logical approach would be to build upon the existing capacities in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) evolving into the legislative body, as it already has universal membership. The chemical conventions and the UNFCCC will also contribute much experience, and would benefit from a mechanism to add binding legislation of the substance that concern them the most. The aim should be to complement and not compete with what already exists.</p> <p>The Stockholm+50 meeting in 2022 would be a most appropriate place to launch the process to upgrade UNEP to a global environment agency empowered with these new functions to protect the planet as our common home from the many threats resulting from the uncontrolled and unlimited release of so many things into the environment.</p> <hr /> <p>Republished with slight edits by the Global Governance Forum on 1 March 2022: <a href="https://globalgovernanceforum.org/filling-a-critical-gap-in-global-environmental-governance/">https://globalgovernanceforum.org/filling-a-critical-gap-in-global-envi…</a></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 1 March 2022</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sun, 20 Feb 2022 09:46:48 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1226 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/ddahl_pollution#comments Global Citizenship SDGs and Gender Inequality https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1215 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Global Citizenship SDGs and Gender Inequality</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/18852" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Abdul Majid Teewno</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">26. December 2021 - 23:36</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span>In the middle of the 20th century, the world's research organization reached the understanding that the sustainability of the earth would only be possible when there is global citizenship. Global citizenship is an ideology that encourages every individual on earth to contribute. Contribution in a sense to live on this globe as you are the citizen of it.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The need for this global citizenship has been felt because the earth is interconnected as biodiversity. As in science, it is thought that every species contribution is a must for living. Every action of humans has an impact on earth either directly or indirectly. We human beings have faced many disasters and in the future, it may exceed ten times or more, because of our actions. The biggest threat to the world is climate change, everything in this world is dependent on temperature, and set on a particular value of it, if the temperature value decreased or increased by some degrees than its particular range for a specific thing, it can cause it into danger or disaster. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>And that climate change has been affected by human actions. That is why global citizenship is necessary.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>When I say individual that means every man and woman. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>I did an online course on sustainable development goals from the University of Yonsei, South Korea. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Sustainable development as it by name focuses on sustainability. Sustainability means the use of resources in such a way that it can be useful for the next generation and doesn't deteriorate the environment.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The initiative was taken by the United Nations Organization UNO. When it was observed that the globe is going towards the destruction of itself. When hunger, terrorism, disaster inequality &amp; racism were taking the lives of thousands of people. Then the 17 goals were made for implementation as being global citizenship for the sustainability of this globe. These goals are interconnected. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Gender equality, inequality is the major goals among them. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>With the belief that women are a major part of our society, the development of societies largely and truly dependent on women, from the birth of a child to its teenage period, 80% contributions are there of a woman in raising. The child will learn what his mother/gardener will teach him, and the learning and teaching of facts, effective communication, basic skills, social interaction, sports, and languages in a proper way is a must need for a child so he/she could grow to sustain psychological and physical pressure in the coming tough steps of his/her life. A mother should know these things</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Parents are great influencers for their children. The children notice their parents and learn everything from them. They do what their parents say them to do, no matter what would be consequences of it.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>A woman raises the society, therefore, a woman needs to be well educated and disciplined, that is why gender equality is the most important goal considered in Sustainable Development Goals.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Gender Development Index GDI is the measure of gender equality for a country. Some countries have the very lowest GDI like (Yemen (0.488) and Afghanistan (0.660) according to Human Development Report 2020 (UNDP). This is the worst form of inequality, the consequence of which is that the scorecard of those countries ranks lowest in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. The result is loss of economic, educational, and health.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span> In this era where the world is putting greater effort to enhance women’s empowerment, many are doing their best to reduce it. There are still several male-dominant countries, male dominancy is a mental disorder, the dominancy of a person is depression for another one. This dominant culture has a psychological educational and disciplinary impact on women. The average percentage of the female population in the world is 49.6%, this ratio is could be the same in some countries, some counties may have one-third of it or some may have three-fourth of it. Not giving proper education and employment to women is doing injustice with your own country in the sense of economy, development, culture, and literacy. The loss of a huge percentage of development is there because of male dominancy.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Remember that a right is a freedom of some kind something to which you are entitled by being human. We are all born into this world and should be given the same opportunities and given a fair shot at a life well-lived, said in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights UDHR.</span></span></span></p></div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sun, 26 Dec 2021 21:36:47 +0000 Abdul Majid Teewno 1215 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1215#comments Politics of Being: Wisdom and Science for a New Development Paradigm https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1213 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Politics of Being: Wisdom and Science for a New Development Paradigm</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">13. December 2021 - 0:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Politics of Being: Wisdom and Science for a New Development Paradigm</h2> <p>by Thomas Legrand<br /> Ocean of Wisdom Press, 2021, 518 p.<br /> Book review by Arthur Lyon Dahl</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>If you set out to synthesize all the latest thinking about what is wrong with the world and what needs to be done to fix it, you might end up with a book like “<i>Politics of Being</i>”. What is remarkable is that it is equally strong on both the rational social science approach and the need for spirituality and values. The author, Thomas Legrand, has a Ph.D. in economics and many years’ experience working in the field of sustainability for UN agencies, private companies and NGOs, with a focus on forest conservation, climate change, sustainable finance, organizational transformation, and leadership. He also shares in the book his spiritual journey starting as a French Catholic, discovering native spirituality in Mexico, exploring many traditions and practices, and finally embracing Buddhism, living near a monastery in Southwest France.</p> <p>“<i>The Politics of Being</i>” starts by exploring sustainability as a collective awakening, escaping from an obsolete development path that is destroying the planet and precipitating an evolutive crisis, and suggesting the need to move from “having” to “being” as the new paradigm. It then reviews the spiritual values which can serve as the foundation for what Legrand calls the Politics of Being. These values include: understanding, life, happiness, love, peace, mindfulness and light. The book then becomes practical with proposals for an agenda for action, covering childhood and family, education, work and organization, health, food and agriculture, nature, justice, economy, and governance. It concludes with suggestions for how to put the politics of being into practice, including accepting that we are one world with a rich diversity of many nations, requiring leaders with both wisdom and spirituality.</p> <p>Legrand summarizes his book in ten core messages. We need a collective shift of consciousness, a cultural evolution of a spiritual nature, to address our current challenges. As a wisdom-based, science-informed approach, a politics of being can support this evolution. Cultivating our fundamental “interbeing” or relational nature is instrumental to allow us to live in harmony with one another and the Earth community. Societies progress as they increasingly honor the highest values, qualities, and ideals, such as freedom, goodness, beauty, truth, understanding, life, happiness, love, peace, etc. The focus on being, the highest values, wisdom and science, provides a simple conceptual framework for a politics of being, which can integrate all relevant claims and initiatives. Our institutions should help cultivate human virtues. Concrete and actionable policy recommendations supporting this agenda already exist in many sectors. Spiritual teachings and wisdom traditions, through dialogue among them and with science, have much to bring to inspire, help design, and implement a politics of being. Each nation needs to reconnect to its own soul and wisdom to develop its version of a politics of being. Healing trauma is, for individuals and societies, the gateway to being.</p> <p>This remarkable book might best be described as the journey of an enlightened intellectual, searching everywhere for what seem to be the best ideas and experiences, and assembling them into a coherent vision for a new development paradigm. It is thoroughly documented, as one would expect from an academic, including in the domains of research that provide a scientific basis for understanding spirituality. It is open and inclusive, proposing the kind of path that could bring everyone together, including those who have difficulties with traditional religions. Since it is deeply rooted in personal experience, it has a ring of authenticity, even if there might be issues with the vocabulary used in some descriptions of felt experiences.</p> <p>From a Bahá’í perspective, many of its approaches resonate with Bahá’í principles including our higher spiritual purpose, the harmony of science and religion, the oneness of humankind, unity in diversity, moderation in material civilization and respect for nature and the environment. There are three pages explaining the Bahá’í Faith, and several mentions of Bahá’u’lláh and quotations from Bahá’í texts. The chapter on governance features a whole section on the Bahá’í governance system and the need for international governance as proposed in the Bahá’í vision. It also cites and summarizes the proposals for UN reform described in the Lopez-Claros, Dahl and Groff book on <i>Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century</i>.</p> <p>For those looking for an introduction to a wide range of sources, from philosophy and mindfulness to psychology and development, as they relate to our human condition, this is a good place to start. But as with all such efforts to propose solutions to the problems of the world, the question that is not easily addressed is how to implement these ideas and where to find the kind of new world leaders that Legrand calls for. He cites Gandhi, Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but such leaders are extremely rare. His politics of being may resonate with those already on a spiritual path, but that will not stop the rich and powerful behind the present materialistic system. It may take more than an intellectual approach and an individual version of spirituality to catalyze the necessary transformation that we all hope for. Perhaps this book will lead more in the right direction.</p> <p>A trailer video can be seen here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TvAGpiM5A0">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TvAGpiM5A0</a></p> <p>The book can be ordered from various sources: <a href="https://politicsofbeing.com/get-the-book/">https://politicsofbeing.com/get-the-book/</a>. The e-book is available now, and the book itself will be released on 22 January 2022.</p> <p>A two hour book launch can be viewed at <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK6iJJzorDg">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK6iJJzorDg</a>.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 13 December 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sun, 12 Dec 2021 22:00:06 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1213 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1213#comments Beyond Economics: Global Systems Accounting https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1200 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Beyond Economics: Global Systems Accounting</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">7. November 2021 - 16:20</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Beyond Economics: Global Systems Accounting</h2> <p>Reflections from a systems science perspective<br /> Arthur Lyon Dahl</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The stimulating presentations from our <a href="https://iefworld.org/conf25">IEF 25th Annual Conference</a> and other events I followed at COP26 have triggered some reflections on the root causes of disintegration in our world and some of the challenges of the urgent transition facing us. There is probably nothing unique in these ideas, but I have not had a chance to explore all the relevant literature, so take this only as a starting point for further discussion.</p> <p>Since indicators are important in telling us where we are and suggesting where we want to go, I started by abstracting some basic accounting principles and relevant indicators. Capital is a measure of the standing stock of a resource, that can either be static, like a mineral in the ground or a gold bar, or dynamic like a forest or investment in a factory, able to maintain itself, grow and provide beneficial services. Interest is extracting wealth from capital, either diminishing static capital (unsustainable) or harvesting part of the increase in wealth (sustainable). Debt is when we borrow capital with a promise to reimburse it at some future time, generally with interest. The assumption is that the direct investment of the capital, or some other source of income, will allow reimbursement. We usually think of all this in terms of financial wealth, but capital and its services or benefits can be of many kinds, contributing to the functioning and wellbeing of the biosphere and human society. Considering wealth or benefit only in narrow financial terms is a materialistic approach and the cause of many of our problems.</p> <p>The fundamental fault in the present financial system is that it favours profit or interest in monetary units (dollars, etc.) over all other benefits. The stock market links capital value to return on investment as dividends or interest, regardless of the purpose of the company. Profit is the basic role of the banking system and corporations, and is seen as an end in itself. Money is borrowed through loans with interest determined by risk, and invested in what are expected to be productive activities generating further wealth. There is no inherent link to any other measures of wellbeing or of services provided. With risks increasing and interest rates down, central banks have pumped great quantities of money into the system to prevent its collapse, inflating government debt while the stock market hits record highs. Since wealth generates wealth in this system, the rich get ever richer and nothing filters down to the middle classes, not to mention the poor. A giant debt bubble has built up between government debt, corporate debt and consumer debt, with no imaginable possibility of reimbursement, only postponement of a reckoning to some indefinite future as debts are rolled over with further borrowing.</p> <p>Development aid, in terms of capital transfer to poor countries, is largely as loans, but this seldom goes into activities generating adequate financial returns in weak and perhaps corrupt economies, and increased risk means higher interest, which accumulates in a vicious circle of debt. Apart from the exploitation of a neocolonial economic system that removes more wealth than it creates, developing country governments must spend much of their available income on debt servicing, and are unable to invest in infrastructure or to meet basic human needs like health care and education. This even impacts development at the local level. One COP26 event I watched on small island developing states said that money was available but projects aiming for a measurable economic return were lacking. Moreover, donor criteria requiring financial return on investment or reimbursement of loans for projects will also extract wealth from the local economy and ignore all the other non-cash benefits that may be more important to a local community.</p> <p>Looking at the climate change crisis, the main proposal is to put a price on carbon to create a motivation to economise on its release. This is subject to the same flaw as the financial system, thinking in terms of money. What is needed is a whole accounting system with carbon as the currency. The planet became suitable for animal life when plants removed enough carbon from the atmosphere and stored it in the ground to bring down the planetary temperature to be suitable for life. The global carbon budget has since been in balance until recently, with animals releasing CO2 and plants absorbing it. Extraction of fossil fuels has upset this balance, raising the carbon concentration in the atmosphere to dangerous levels. A proper carbon accounting system would consider the biomass of the planet and stored organic carbon as the carbon capital stock. Plant-dominated ecosystems maintain that capital and provide ecosystem services as well. Excess carbon in the atmosphere is carbon debt, and all releases of carbon dioxide and methane increase that carbon debt. We are living beyond our means in terms of carbon accounting. In this framework, countries with biological resources have the most capital and should be valued accordingly, with incentives for environmental regeneration to increase stored carbon stock. All activities that destroy biological resources or release fossil carbon are increasing carbon debt and should be penalized accordingly. The carbon accounts can be linked to the financial system, since the sale of fossil energy generates monetary wealth that can be taxed, and those taxes used to reward carbon removal. Since excess carbon in the atmosphere continues to cause harm, there should be a carbon tax not only on new releases of fossil carbon, but also an annual tax on historic emissions until they are removed. Conversely there should be corresponding payments for carbon capture and sequestration, whether by natural systems, environmental regeneration or technology. Note how differently this would rate industrialized and developing countries, with corresponding incentives. Science should be able to estimate the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and the flows corresponding to inputs and withdrawals. It would not be necessary to measure the total geological carbon stock. The total carbon accounting system would provide the basis for quantifying national responsibilities and the corresponding payments by or to those directly responsible, especially in the private sector and civil society, generating positive and negative incentives to achieve a stable carbon market.</p> <p>Similarly, one could imagine a biodiversity budget and accounting system, with natural ecosystems the capital, and every reduction in biodiversity increasing debt. Species extinctions would be bankruptcies and should be penalized accordingly.</p> <p>A pollution budget system would consider a clean environment as capital to be maintained. All releases of pollution would increase debt. The environment has some capacity to clean itself of some pollutants, as a kind of wealth generation, but persistent pollutants are becoming an enormous debt burden on the future that is not presently accounted for.</p> <p>A health budget would treat human health and productivity as capital, and all activities that damage health would increase debt. This is only presently measured as increasing financial costs of the health care system, not as a loss of human well-being. Tobacco use and narcotic drugs presently generate financial profits, because the human health impact is not integrated into the accounting system with rewards and punishments. Pollution also impacts the health budget, as do all the impacts of climate change on health.</p> <p>Similarly, one could imagine an employment accounting system, with full employment, broadly defined as using the productive potential of every human being to render services to others, as the ideal capital stock. Unemployment reduces this capital and its capacity to generate further wealth, as does marginalizing part of the population because of gender, ethnicity, handicap or other biases.</p> <p>The world has already gone a long way towards defining the necessary components of global common interest, for which accounting systems are needed, in the structures already created for elements of global governance in the United Nations system and other international agreements. The UNFCCC could evolve into a global central bank for carbon accounts. The CBD and other conservation conventions would be responsible for biodiversity accounting. UNEP and related conventions would become a global environment agency to manage the pollution accounts and other aspects of global biosphere accounting that would link to carbon and biodiversity accounts for management of the overall health of the planet’s natural systems and life support services. The WHO would be charged with ensuring the health capital of all humanity, and that global risks like the pandemic threatening that capital were addressed in the common interest. The ILO would have oversight of the human capacity to generate wealth and well-being through work and employment globally, ensuring that systems were in place everywhere to give everyone some useful skill and the means to use it to earn her or his living through some meaningful service. The FAO would be responsible for food accounting to ensure that the planet produced adequate food for everyone through sustainable methods and that it was properly distributed to ensure that no one went hungry. The development organizations like UNDP and the World Bank could be reoriented to redress the present imbalance in global wealth and to devise mechanisms to guarantee a universal basic income and eliminate poverty. UNESCO and related institutions would manage the accounting of the global capital of science, culture and knowledge to ensure its increase, preservation and transmission through education. This list is not exhaustive, and there are certainly other dimensions of social and environmental health and well-being that should be included in the accounting system of an ever-advancing civilization. Obviously such institutions would not manage everything, applying principles of national autonomy and subsidiarity to encompass the wonderful diversity and creativity of human institutions at multiple levels from global to local. They would be responsible for accounting for the global common interest in their area of concern, and of signalling and motivating the maintenance and increase in global capital and wealth in their areas of concern.</p> <p>Together, all these forms of capital would become the basis for a new global currency, no longer subject to manipulation in the national interest of states, and founded on standards of human and natural well-being. The relative weighting of the forms of capital in the currency could be adjusted to the priorities of the moment. Carbon accounts would clearly weigh more in our present climate emergency. A pandemic would raise the weighting and priority of the health accounts. These decisions would be the responsibility of institutions of global governance, in the same way that national central banks take decisions to ensure national economic well-being under the oversight of national governments. Seen in this light, the proposals here are not so utopian, and could easily evolve from what we have already built and available capacities. We need to abandon the present economic system and its exclusively financial accounting exemplified by GDP as soon as possible, by constructing a better system in its place.</p> <h3 style=" color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Organizing the transition</h3> <p>Another reflection on our present predicament concerns the problem of the necessary transition from our present materialistic system dominated by a financial economy to a more human-centred, just and sustainable future. This is the challenge even the best-intentioned leaders face today. Climate science says that we must turn the corner within a decade. But what do we do with those millions of people whose jobs and lives depend on the fossil fuel industry, the consumer society, the military-industrial complex, and all the other parts of the economy that depend on unsustainable activities or are not contributing to human betterment? The system is extremely powerful and fights to maintain itself. The transition will inevitably be catastrophic one way or another.</p> <p>One simple example from Bonner’s presentation at the IEF conference is the car industry. Increasing traffic reduces connectivity and social relationships in a neighbourhood, and an enormous part of urban space is now devoted to personal vehicles. Changing to electric cars will only postpone the transition to net-zero, since it will take 20 years to replace existing cars, and because it does nothing to reduce the space occupied, which is needed to improve the more sustainable alternatives of walking, biking and public transport. Yet with the recent pandemic-induced shortages, car makers have raised their prices and increased their profit margins. The incentives are all wrong, and too often defend the present economic system and the infrastructure we have invested in to support it. Consumers resist change, but experiments show that, once they have experienced the alternative, they prefer not to go back.</p> <p>Another example from a COP26 event was of projects allowing local village fishermen to collect data on their catch and their impact on the fishery resource, giving them the indicators to directly manage their own fishery for sustainable use, a kind of crowd-sourced resource accounting for local use. This is very close to the way indigenous knowledge systems functioned over many generations. Empowering local people can naturally create a more efficient multidimensional accounting system at the local level.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 22 November 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> Sun, 07 Nov 2021 14:20:28 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1200 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1200#comments Nature et spiritualité https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1198 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Nature et spiritualité</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">5. November 2021 - 23:52</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Nature et spiritualité</h2> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>The Bahá'í community of France has just posted online a short paper I prepared on Nature and Spirituality (in French). It can be viewed at <a href="https://www.bahai.fr/nature-et-spiritualite/">https://www.bahai.fr/nature-et-spiritualite/</a>.</p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 5 November 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/315" hreflang="en">Nature</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 05 Nov 2021 21:52:43 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1198 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1198#comments ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND STATISTICS https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1193 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND STATISTICS</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/18790" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">COUNTRYMANKOMBE</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">11. October 2021 - 18:46</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item">In this section of the page, I will look at the non-human-made surroundings and conditions in which all living and non-living things exist on Earth. To begin with, Lets look at the Natural environment which encompasses two different components: 1. Ecological units that operate as natural systems (such as soil, vegetation and so on). 2. Universal natural resources (such as air and water). Environmental modelling involves the application of multidisciplinary knowledge to explain, explore and predict the Earth’s response to environmental change, both natural and human-induced. In the coming section we will slowly proceed to the other attachments the environment has</div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/313" hreflang="en">1</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 11 Oct 2021 15:46:49 +0000 COUNTRYMANKOMBE 1193 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1193#comments World Scientist's Warning of a Climate Emergency https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1172 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">World Scientist&#039;s Warning of a Climate Emergency</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">22. August 2021 - 21:52</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp; <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">World Scientist's Warning of a Climate Emergency</h2> <p>Summary and commentary by Arthur Dahl<br /> President, International Environment Forum</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p>An international group of leading scientists has been issuing warnings for thirty years of our growing environmental crises. After a "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" in 1992, the Alliance of World Scientists (<a href="https://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/">https://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/</a>) issued a "World Scientists’ Warning: Second Notice" in 2017, and a "Scientists' Warning of a Climate Emergency" in 2019 (<a href="https://www.scientistswarning.org/">https://www.scientistswarning.org/</a>), documenting the catastrophic trends in the world leading to a climate emergency and the need for rapid action. I was one of nearly fourteen thousand scientists in 158 countries to have signed up to that call, but it has not yet had much impact. At the end of July 2021, the authors have repeated their warning of a climate emergency, updating their data to show that most trends are still in the wrong direction. Click <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab079">here</a> for their full paper with all the graphs.</p> <p>Among the worrying planetary vital signs, the number of ruminant livestock passed 4 billion, forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon accelerated to become a carbon source instead of a carbon sink, global GDP dipped during the pandemic but is expected to reach an all-time high, the reductions in fossil fuel use and air travel during the pandemic appear to be transient, greenhouse gases have set new concentration records in the atmosphere, 2020 was the second hottest year on record, and melting of Greenland, polar and glacier ice, and ocean heat content and sea level rise, have set new records.</p> <p>The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as serious as it is, was not enough to affect the climate crisis. To respond to the climate emergency, the scientists call for immediate action to change course in six areas: (1) <i>energy</i>, eliminating fossil fuels and shifting to renewables; (2) <i>short-lived air pollutants</i>, slashing black carbon (soot), methane, and hydrofluorocarbons; (3) <i>nature</i>, restoring and permanently protecting Earth’s ecosystems to store and accumulate carbon and restore biodiversity; (4) <i>food</i>, switching to mostly plant-based diets, reducing food waste, and improving cropping practices; (5) <i>economy</i>, moving from indefinite GDP growth and overconsumption by the wealthy to ecological economics and a circular economy, in which prices reflect the full environmental costs of goods and services; and (6) <i>human population</i>, stabilizing and gradually reducing the population by providing voluntary family planning and supporting education and rights for all girls and young women. All transformative climate action should focus on social justice for all by prioritizing basic human needs and reducing inequality.</p> <p>Why has the world not listened to the scientists? The warning could not be clearer, and as the recent <a href="/node/1167">IPCC report</a> has shown, the evidence is overwhelming that the climate catastrophe is already underway. Bahá'u'lláh warned over a hundred years ago that material civilization carried to excess would be as great a source of evil as it had been of good when kept within the bounds of moderation. Our present economic system is in total contradiction to that concept, and in particular the <a href="/node/1106">lifestyle of the affluent</a>. The UN and many leaders of thought have called for a fundamental transformation in society, but it is clear that science is not enough to motivate that. We need a fundamental change in values, which only a spiritual or religious renewal can bring about, and that is what the Bahá'ís are working towards from the grass-roots up, community by community, all around the world. As the climate emergency accelerates, let us hope that the renewal of civilization on new foundations can ultimately save us from the worst.</p> <p>Source: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab079">https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab079</a></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 22 August 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/267" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> </div> </div> Sun, 22 Aug 2021 18:52:11 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1172 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1172#comments Interfaith Indicators to Respond to COP26 https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1165 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Interfaith Indicators to Respond to COP26</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Arthur Dahl</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">21. July 2021 - 23:07</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="text-align: center;"> <h2 style="text-align: center; color: rgb(0, 153, 0);">Interfaith Indicators to Respond to COP26</h2> <p>Blog by Arthur Lyon Dahl on the<br /> <a href="https://www.g20interfaith.org/">G20 Interfaith Forum website</a><br /> 16 July 2021</p> </div> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <p><em>By Arthur Lyon Dahl – International Environment Forum, IF20 Environment Working Group.</em></p> <p>– – –</p> <p>Climate change is widely recognized, including by faith traditions and interfaith groups, as an existential threat to human wellbeing at a planetary scale. At the 26<sup>th</sup> Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change in November 2021, States are expected to ratchet up their Voluntary National Commitments to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, with the goal of keeping global heating well below 2°C and preferably approaching 1.5°C, which scientists say may keep damage from climate change to a manageable level.</p> <p><img alt=" " data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/gr/iStock-1209532058-512x300.jpg" style="width: 512px; height: 300px;" /></p> <p>Damage already occurring from extreme weather events, droughts, floods and sea level rise mostly impacts the poor who have little resilience, while it is our dependence on fossil fuel energy, and the excessive consumption and extravagant lifestyles of the affluent, that are the primary causes. This raises issues of climate justice where faith traditions have much to say about respect for nature, solidarity, generosity, human dignity, and simplicity in material needs.</p> <p>Unfortunately general appeals to ethical behaviour and climate justice are not easily translated into behaviour change, especially for those in affluent countries and cities inundated by the marketing pressures of a materialistic consumer society.</p> <p><strong>A Need for Indicators</strong></p> <p>We use indicators like body temperature to signal our state of health, and calorie intake to judge if we have a reasonable diet. At the national level, an indicator like GDP is unfortunately the most common measure of an economy, even though it has no correlation with human wellbeing.</p> <p>Given the urgency of a rapid response to the climate emergency—requiring a fundamental transformation in our energy systems, transportation, industries, food production, human habitats and all other factors of modern civilization—we need indicators of climate justice that will signal to everyone, rich and poor, urban and rural, North and South, East and West, of all faiths and no faith, what they need to change to move towards climate neutrality. These indicators will also help them measure their progress so that everyone can join in the necessary effort to reduce present suffering and to preserve a habitable planet for future generations.</p> <p><strong>Linking Climate Justice to Spiritual Values</strong></p> <p>Since faith communities can probably reach out to the largest percentage of the world population, indicators that would link actions for climate justice to core spiritual values and ethical principles could have special impact. Interfaith groups could collaborate on developing a set of indicators such as engaging for climate justice, actions to ensure a better world for youth, living a simple life, building community solidarity and resilience, gardening or planting trees, adopting a plant-based diet, discussing climate change with friends and family, and showing solidarity with the poor at home or abroad.</p> <p>One can imagine educational campaigns around relevant indicators such as: “Mohammed dressed simply and ate low on the food chain. Use these indicators to follow His example,” “The Pope, in <em>Laudato Si’</em>, calls for ‘moderation and the capacity to be happy with little’. Here are some indicators to see if you are living a Christian lifestyle,” “Bahá’u’lláh said we should ‘be content with little, and freed from all inordinate desire’. These indicators measure if you are following a spiritual path.”</p> <p><strong>A Time for Implementation</strong></p> <p>The adoption by countries of more ambitious goals at COP26 is critical, but so is implementing them, which will require broad public support and cooperation.</p> <p>Faith communities and interfaith organizations can do their part by identifying relevant indicators that add a spiritual motivation to the educational efforts of others, and thus contribute to the fundamental transformation in the economy and society necessary to respond to the climate crisis now threatening us around the world.</p> <p>– – –</p> <p><em>Arthur Lyon Dahl is President of the <a href="https://iefworld.org/">International Environment Forum</a>, and a retired Deputy Assistant Executive Director of the <a href="https://www.unep.org/">United Nations Environment Programme</a> (UNEP), with 50 years’ international experience in environment and sustainability. His most recent focus has been on global governance and UN reform.</em></p> <hr /> <p><small>Source: <a href="https://blog.g20interfaith.org/2021/07/16/interfaith-indicators-to-respond-to-cop26/">https://blog.g20interfaith.org/2021/07/16/interfaith-indicators-to-resp…</a></small></p> <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;" /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="66" src="/gr/IEFlogo5.gif" width="142" /></p> <p><small>Last updated 21 July 2021</small></p> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-blog-comments field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> </section> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Blog tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/267" hreflang="en">Climate change</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/310" hreflang="en">Indicators</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 21 Jul 2021 20:07:04 +0000 Arthur Dahl 1165 at https://iefworld.org https://iefworld.org/index.php/node/1165#comments